Car Engine Information

The Car Engine Information Channel explores engine performance, maintenance and new fuel technologies. Learn how car engines work.


In a typical auto supply store, you'll find bottles of aftermarket engine oil additives that claim to improve performance and make your engine run cleaner. But are these additives really worth buying?

Did you know that the condition of your car's engine oil can actually provide clues to its health? It helps if you think of it like a blood test for humans.

Did you know your driving habits have a direct effect on the lifespan of your vehicle? In fact, there are several easy ways to modify your driving habits to make sure your engine will last a long time.

It's unfortunate that the same thing that makes an internal combustion engine work so well (combustion) can eventually hurt the engine. Over time, engine deposits build up and cause your engine to lose power and efficiency. Do you know your options?

Despite a bewildering array of oils on the market -- with various additive packages and performance standards -- finding the right oil for your car is relatively easy. But finding the best oil out of the array is a little more difficult.

Most drivers know that an engine needs a check-up every now and then. In fact, all engines require regular maintenance to remain in good condition. But do you know how to proactively protect your engine?

Poor diet and lack of exercise cause sticky deposits called cholesterol to block our arteries. But what's the culprit behind oil gumming up our engine? What are the clues an engine is harboring oil deposits?

Heat is your engine's worst enemy. In fact, internal heat can cause a chemical reaction in motor oil that causes its viscosity to change. Do you know the steps you can take to prevent thermal breakdown?

The same basic principles of early car engines still apply today -- combustion of air and fuel create rotational force to move a car. But how have modern car engines evolved to meet the needs of today's drivers?

Most drivers know their engine needs oil just like it needs gasoline, but how much, what kind and how often to add it can seem like a mystery. Could you benefit from learning the basics of engine oil?

Internal combustion engines are notoriously inefficient to begin with; and friction is one of the factors that further reduce that already low efficiency. But does friction really affect gas mileage?

Soot buildup is common in diesel engines; however, it's a frequent misconception that soot doesn't occur in gasoline engines. It does. Excessive soot could simply signal the need for an oil change, or it could indicate other underlying problems.

Everyone knows that cars and trucks need engine oil in order to operate smoothly. But most people also know a few "facts" about engine oil that aren't necessarily true. Can you separate fact from fiction?

For more than 150 years, automotive engineers have been continually working on ways to refine and improve the internal combustion engine. These are 10 of the biggest and most significant engine improvements of all time.

Today, hot bulb engines are a mainstay for serious antique engine collectors and represent a historic landmark in the evolution of gas engines. Efficient, simple and robust -- hot bulb engines had it all.

Without frequent oil changes, dirt and sludge can build up in your car's engine. But when it's time for an oil change, why is it important to select a high-quality motor oil?

There's a popular belief that switching between mineral oil and synthetic oil in your car's engine is a no-no. Some say it'll cause leaky seals and internal engine damage. So is it a myth or a reality?

It took researchers years to create quality synthetics that outperformed conventional oils, but there's little doubt that synthetics are now superior in most scenarios. What makes synthetic oil better?

You may think your dreams of fuel economy can be fulfilled only by a car with a diesel engine, but direct injection engines offer another option for high efficiency and performance. How do they differ from standard gas engines?

It's possible that someday there may be no need for a lot of the components that you currently find under the hood of a car or truck. That is, if the vehicle is equipped with in-wheel electric motors.

If you own a luxury or performance vehicle, then you know how expensive it can be to fill the fuel tank with premium gasoline. But is this high-octane fuel really necessary in most cases?

Lifetime fluids are developed to require little or no maintenance for the life of your vehicle. But, is anyone developing lifetime engine oil?

High gas prices are driving people to look at alternatives to fossil fuels, such as a turbine designed by the father of alternating current, Nikola Tesla.

When you hear the word "diesel" you probably imagine something along the lines of a Mack truck. But what do powerful diesel engines actually look like? Check out this image gallery to see the cutting-edge diesel engines in development today.

Car engines range from small, economic 4-cylinders to insanely powerful 16-cylinder beasts. Get revved up with full-throttle photos of how they all work.